Polar Biology

, 29:1071 | Cite as

Karyotypes of basal lineages in notothenioid fishes: the genus Bovichtus

  • Federico Mazzei
  • Laura Ghigliotti
  • Guillaume Lecointre
  • Catherine Ozouf-Costaz
  • Jean-Pierre Coutanceau
  • William Detrich III
  • Eva Pisano
Original Paper


Using comparative cytogenetic techniques, we characterized the chromosomes of fishes from the family Bovichtidae, the basal lineage of the largely Antarctic suborder Notothenioidei. We focused on three Sub-Antarctic species of the genus Bovichtus that differ greatly in their circumpolar distributions: B. diacanthus (Tristan da Cunha Island Group), B. variegatus (New Zealand) and B. angustifrons (Tasmania). Chromosomes were analyzed both by conventional karyotyping and by cytogenetic mapping of ribosomal genes using fluorescence in situ hybridization. The three species displayed a strongly conserved karyotype consisting entirely of telocentric chromosomes (diploid number = 48; Fundamental Number = 48), in agreement with our previously published hypothesis that the bovichtid karyotype is the basal state for notothenioid fishes. The chromosomal distribution of ribosomal genes differed from those of most notothenioid species studied to date, with the 45S and 5S genes separated on two different chromosome pairs. Separation of two classes of ribosomal genes is the most widespread condition in teleosts, including the bovichtids. Most notothenioid lineages on the other hand exhibit a derived consolidation of these genes.


Chromosome Pair Ribosomal Gene Telocentric Chromosome Fundamental Number Notothenioid Fish 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We gratefully acknowledge the excellent logistic support provided to the ICEFISH cruise by Sandra K. Parker (Northeastern University), the personnel of Raytheon Polar Services Company, and by the captain and crew of the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer. We also thank Beverly Dickson, who helped in sampling and working on B. variegatus at Portobello Marine Station, New Zealand. Richard Williams organized our work at the Australian Antarctic Division. Marino Vacchi and Andrew Tabor kindly sampled B. angustifrons in Tasmania by diving. This work was supported by National Science Foundation grant OPP-0132032 to H. William Detrich (Northeastern University). Publication number 13 from the ICEFISH Cruise of 2004 (H.W.D. Chief Scientist, RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer). For more information, visit Additional support was provided by the Italian Antarctic Programme (PNRA) and by the Polar French Institute Paul Emile Victor (IPEV).


  1. Andrew TG, Hecht T, Heemstra PC, Lutjeharms JRE (1995) Fishes of the Tristan da Cunha group and Gough island, South Atlantic Ocean. Ichthyol Bull JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology 61:1–41Google Scholar
  2. Balushkin AV (1992) Classification, phylogenetic relationships, and origins of the families of the suborder Notothenioidei (Perciformes). J Ichthyol 32(7):90–110Google Scholar
  3. Balushkin AV (2000) Morphology, classification, and evolution of notothenioid fishes of the Southern Ocean (Notothenioidei, Perciformes). J Ichthyol 40(Suppl 1):S74–S109Google Scholar
  4. Chen W-J, Bonillo C, Lecointre G (2003) Repeatability of clades as a criterion of reliability: a case study for molecular phylogeny of Acanthomorpha (Teleostei) with larger number of taxa. Mol Phylogenet Evol 26:262–288PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dettaï A, Lecointre G (2004) In search of notothenioid (Teleostei) relatives. Antarctic Sci 16:71–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Doussau De Bazignan M, Ozouf-Costaz C (1985) Une technique rapide d’analyse chromosomique appliquée à sept espèces de poissons antarctiques. Cybium 9:5–74Google Scholar
  7. Eastman JT (1993) Antarctic fish biology: evolution in a unique environment. Academic, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  8. Eastman JT (2006) Aspects of the morphology of phyletically basal bovichtid fishes of the Antarctic suborder Notothenioidei (Perciformes). Polar Biol DOI 10.1007/s00300-006-0112-yGoogle Scholar
  9. Gon O, Heemstra PC (1990) Fishes of the Southern Ocean. JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology, GrahamstownGoogle Scholar
  10. Hardy GS (1988) A revision of Bovichtus Cuvier, 1831 (Pisces: Bovichthidae) from Australasia, with description of a new deepwater species from the New Zealand Subantarctic. J Nat Hist 22:1639–1655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Last PR, Balushkin AV, Hutchins JB (2002) Halaphritis platycephala (Notothenioidei: Bovichtidae): a new genus and species of temperate icefish from Southeastern Australia. Copeia 2:443–440Google Scholar
  12. Lecointre G, Bonillo C, Ozouf-Costaz C, Hureau J-C (1997) Molecular evidence for the origins of Antarctic fishes: paraphyly of the Bovichtidae and no indication for the monophyly of the Notothenioidei (Teleostei). Polar Biol 18:193–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Levan A, Fredga K, Sandberg AA (1964) Nomenclature for centromeric position on chromosome. Hereditas 52:201–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Martins C (2006) Chromosomes and repetitive DNAs: a contribution to the knowledge of the fish genome. In: Pisano E, Ozouf-Costaz C, Foresti F, Kapoor BG (eds.) Fish cytogenetics. Science Publishers, Inc Enfield (NH) USA, (in press)Google Scholar
  15. Mazzei F, Ghigliotti L, Bonillo C, Coutanceau J-P, Ozouf-Costaz C, Pisano E (2004) Chromosomal patterns of major and 5S ribosomal DNA in six icefish species (Perciformes, Notothenioidei, Channichthyidae). Polar Biol 28:47–55Google Scholar
  16. Nakamura I, Inada T, Takeda M, Hatanaka H (1986) Important fishes trawled off Patagonia. JAMARC (Japanese Marine Fishery Resource Research Center) Publication, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  17. Near TJ (2004) Estimating divergence times of notothenioid fishes using a fossil-calibrated molecular clock. Antarctic Sci 16:37–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Near TJ, Pesavento J, Cheng C-H C (2004) Phylogenetic investigations of Antarctic notothenioid fishes (Perciformes: Notothenioidei) using complete gene sequences of the mitochondrial encoded 16S rRNA. Mol Phylogenet Evol 32:881–891PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ozouf-Costaz C, Pisano E, Thaeron C, Hureau JC (1997) Antarctic fish chromosome banding: significance for evolutionary study. Cybium 21:399–410Google Scholar
  20. Ozouf-Costaz C, Pisano E, Thaeron C, Hureau JC (1999) Karyological survey of the Notothenioid fish occuring in Adelie Land (Antarctica). In: Séret B, Sire JY (eds) Proceedings of the 5th Indo-Pac. fish conf. Nouméa 1997. Soc. fr. Ichtyol., Paris, pp 427–440Google Scholar
  21. Pisano E, Ozouf-Costaz C (2003) Cytogenetics and evolution in extreme environment: the case of Antarctic fishes. In: Val AL, Kapoor BG (eds) Fish adaptations. Science Publishers Inc, Enfield (NH) USA, pp 309–330Google Scholar
  22. Pisano E, Ozouf-Costaz C, Hureau JC, Williams R (1995) Chromosome differentiation in the subantarctic Bovichtidae species Cottoperca gobio (Gunther, 1861) and Pseudaphritis urvillii (Valencienne, 1832)(Pisces, Perciformes). Antarctic Sci 7:381–386Google Scholar
  23. Pisano E, Ozouf-Costaz C, Prirodina V (1998) Chromosome diversification in Antarctic fish (Notothenioidei). In: di Prisco G, Pisano E, Clarke A (eds) Fishes of the Antarctica. A biological overview. Springer-Verlag, Milan, pp 275–286Google Scholar
  24. Prirodina VP (1986) Karyotypes of Cottoperca gobio (Bovichthyidae, Notothenioidei) as compared to karyotypes of other Notothenioidei. Proc Zool Inst Leningrad 153:67–71Google Scholar
  25. Prirodina VP (1994) A review of the karyological and taxonomic diversity in the fish suborder Notothenioidei. J Ichthyol 34:180–186Google Scholar
  26. Ritchie PA, Lavoue S, Lecointre G (1997) Molecular phylogenetics and the evolution of Antarctic notothenioid fishes. Comp Biochem Physiol A 118:1009–1025CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Voskoboinikova OS (2004) Ontogenetic bases of the origin and of relationships of the fishes from the Suborder Notothenioidei (Perciformes). J Ichthyol 44:418–432Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federico Mazzei
    • 1
  • Laura Ghigliotti
    • 1
  • Guillaume Lecointre
    • 2
  • Catherine Ozouf-Costaz
    • 2
  • Jean-Pierre Coutanceau
    • 2
  • William Detrich III
    • 3
  • Eva Pisano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of GenovaGenovaItaly
  2. 2.Département Systématique et EvolutionMuseum National d’Histoire NaturelleParisFrance
  3. 3.Department of BiologyNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations